Engineering and Health experts see Madison County landfills linked to cancer and soil pollution


RIDGELAND, Miss. (WJTV) – A follow-up on the proposed landfill for Madison County, it would be the third one for the area, two of which would be in Ridgeland.

Homeowners link the current ones to making people sick and the grounds around them polluted. Local health and industry experts agree.

NCL Waste wants this landfill built seeing the necessities there. But engineering and health experts say it will come with “toxic fumes” and the threat of polluted runoff making its way to the water supply. Infecting people with cancer and other diseases.

“The environment is playing a big role in causing cancer,” Dr. Pier Palo Claudio of Radiation Oncology stated. 

For over 25 years Dr. Claudio with UMMC has studied causes of cancer and produced research connecting patients to the environment around landfills. 

“Those fumes that are coming out from there are toxic, poisonous fumes,” Dr. Claudio explained. “They contain lots of compounds that can be irritating to the airways and can mutate our DNA cells and cause cancer.” 

Specifically burning heavy metal objects can produce a chemical called “cadmium”, if inhaled Dr. Claudio’s research shows the element leading to lung and prostate cancer. And it is difficult to recover.  

“Exposure to cadmium will make those cells resistant to cell death,” Dr. Claudio added. “When we provide therapy, you’re making them more resistant to the therapy.”

Already having two landfills in the county it’s possible the damage could already be done. One study by the American Cancer Society found Madison County had the highest mortality rates for prostate and breast cancer in 2014. 

“I think it’s a slap in the face with the cancer cluster like it is,” a concerned homeowner who went by Robin told us. “I think it’s a slap in the face for the people here and we shouldn’t have to endure anymore pollution here.”

Meanwhile engineers familiar with the proposed site point to rain runoff mixing with trash creating leachate. A liquified form of waste putting waterways at risk. 

“It will carry on the surface these contaminates that will be on the surface and could soil down into the water aquifers,” retired engineer Robert Tyson of R.W Tyson Producing Company said.

Those water aquifers carrying the landfill liquid can eventually be extracted by water wells we use to get drinking water. And a study earlier this year by Cardno Engineers claimed the four monitoring stations to keep up with disposal area breaches underground and on the surface will not be sufficient with a dump the size NCL Waste wants to build. 

The Madison County Board of Supervisors has yet to make a final decision on the need for the county to move forward with NCL Waste to be approved by the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality to build.

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